Ontario Bar Association commends Law Society action on gender identity gender expression

  • January 30, 2014

Rules of Professional conduct amended barring discrimination and harassment  

The Ontario Bar Association commends the Law Society of Upper Canada for amending its Rules of Professional Conduct and Paralegal Rules of Conduct to bar discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender identity or gender expression. These amendments, which take effect on October 1, 2014, bring the Law Society’s professional standards in line with recent changes to Ontario’s Human Rights Code. Together with the Law Society’s recently updated model guide for law firms and other organizations, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Creating An Inclusive Work Environment, the revised rules ensure that the full diversity of Ontarians are well served by the legal profession – including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans legal professionals.

Ontario is one of several jurisdictions in Canada that expressly includes gender identity and gender expression as protected grounds in its human rights legislation. The Law Society of Upper Canada is the first law society in the country to implement these protections into its professional code. The Ontario Bar Association applauds the Law Society of Upper Canada for taking a proactive role in advancing the fundamental principle that every person has a right to equal treatment without discrimination or harassment, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.